Yemen: Senior UN relief official voices concern at reports of airstrikes on civilians

The city of Sa'ada in the Sa'ada Governorate has been heavily hit by airstrikes during the conflict in Yemen. Photo: OCHA/Philippe Kropf (file)

7 August 2017 – Expressing a deep concern about reports of airstrikes on civilians in Yemen's Sa'ada Governorate, a senior United Nations relief official has urged all parties to the conflict and those who influence and support them to uphold their responsibility under international humanitarian law to protect civilians.

“All parties to the conflict continue to show a disregard for the protection of civilians and the principle of distinction between civilians and combatants in the conduct of hostilities,” said Jamie McGoldrick, the Humanitarian Coordinator in Yemen, in a statement issued over the weekend by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

Attacks on a house in As Safra District and on a private vehicle in Razih District on Friday have reportedly resulted in the deaths of at least 12 civilians, including women and children and the injury of 10 more people.

While these new incidents are still being investigated by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), they are an example of the brutality in which the conflict is being conducted, Mr. McGoldrick stated.

“As I have said before, even wars have rules and such rules must be respected,” he added.

Meanwhile, UN Spokesman Stéphane Dujarric told reporters at UN Headquarters today that there had been a delay in the delivery of fuel needed for the UN's humanitarian operations in the country but UN team has got assurances that fuel will be moving this week from Aden to the capital, Sana'a.

“We ask authorities for a mechanism to help ensure regular delivery of aviation fuel for UN operations,” Mr. Dujarric said.


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